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Trends Cell Biol. 2011 Nov;21(11):638-46. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2011.06.006. Epub 2011 Jul 23.

Plithotaxis and emergent dynamics in collective cellular migration.

Author information

1
Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia, Ciber Enfermedades Respiratorias, University of Barcelona, Spain. xtrepat@ub.edu

Abstract

For a monolayer sheet to migrate cohesively, it has long been suspected that each constituent cell must exert physical forces not only upon its extracellular matrix but also upon neighboring cells. The first comprehensive maps of these distinct force components reveal an unexpected physical picture. Rather than showing smooth and systematic variation within the monolayer, the distribution of physical forces is dominated by heterogeneity, both in space and in time, which emerges spontaneously, propagates over great distances, and cooperates over the span of many cell bodies. To explain the severe ruggedness of this force landscape and its role in collective cell guidance, the well known mechanisms of chemotaxis, durotaxis, haptotaxis are clearly insufficient. In a broad range of epithelial and endothelial cell sheets, collective cell migration is governed instead by a newly discovered emergent mechanism of innately collective cell guidance - plithotaxis.

PMID:
21784638
PMCID:
PMC3202659
DOI:
10.1016/j.tcb.2011.06.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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